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    Chartogne-Taillet "Cuvée Sainte Anne" Champagne Brut NV


    Chartogne-Taillet "Cuvée Sainte Anne" Champagne Brut NV

    The vineyards of Merfy, seven kilometers north of Reims, lie on the southern slopes of the Massif de Saint-Thierry in the Montagne de Reims. These slopes were planted shortly after the arrival of the Romans and monks of the neighboring Abbey of Saint-Thierry expanded the vineyards in the seventh century. By the ninth century, the vines surrounding the abbey represented the single largest concentration of vines in Champagne and the wines from Merfy earned a great reputation and found their way to the Royal table. Today, Chartogne-Taillet remains the only RM producer in the village and under Alexandre Chartogne’s guidance, the wines of Chartogne-Taillet are some of the most sought-after Champagnes being produced.

    In the vineyards, Alexandre does not follow any certifications; his goal is “to respect the soil populations as much as I can.” His work is followed by Claude and Lydia Bourguignon, the two foremost experts on soil microbiology. “I do not use chemicals, herbicides, insecticides … and plough half of my vineyards with my horses. Most of the work is made by hand, but … no certification.” Sheep and chickens are used for fertilization and focus is put on the health of the soil as Chartogne believes that the transmission of terroir comes only though careful work in the vineyard. 

    Today, Alexandre produces wines from eight different parcels: Les Barres, Beaux Sens, Le Couarres, Couarres Château, Heurtebise, Orizeaux, Les Alliées, and Chemin de Reims. In each parcel a different variety planted, but Chartogne is adamant about the variety not being important. “It is the soil and the place that is most important. The variety is just the transmission of the feeling of that place,” says Alexandre. In addition to the very small production parcelle wines, he produces a nonvintage called Sainte-Anne, which expresses the different terroirs of Merfy. Sainte-Anne is a village wine, and an excellent lesson in just how fine wine from “cru normal” made with expertise and care can be.

    The NV "Cuvée Sainte-Anne” Champagne Brut is fantastic. It’s made of approximately 40% chardonnay, 40% pinot noir, and 10% pinot meunier, and was harvested mostly in 2019. Bottled in July 2020 without filtration, herbicides, or chemicals, about 5 g/l doasge, and disgorged in February 2022. Aromas of orchard fruit and apple pie meet with flavors of citrus and subtle baking spices. The wine is full of energy and minerality but maintains a supple roundness and a long, complex finish. It’s delicious now but could improve in the cellar for years to come. 




    Producer Champagne Chartogne-Taillet


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    Near North

    Mon–Fri Noon–8 / Sat 11–7
    Closed on Sunday

    1167 N Howe Street
    Chicago, IL 60610

    Sounds good!